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(NPR)   Living with extreme wildfires might be the new normal   (npr.org) divider line 49
    More: Scary, wildfires, the wind shifts, fire suppression, firefighting, safe zone  
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2327 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Sep 2013 at 6:38 AM (43 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



49 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-09-30 12:25:24 AM
I seem to recall reading somewhere that people started living in wildfire zones in the 50s because the government encouraged the population to spread out in case of a nuclear attack. Google isn't coming up with anything so I could just have dreamt it.
 
2013-09-30 12:47:53 AM
As long as the drought conditions exist and we keep our forests unmaintained these fires will be an annual event. I hope you keep the brush away from your home.
 
2013-09-30 01:26:17 AM
then wouldn't we have to redefine "extreme wildfire"?
 
2013-09-30 02:17:26 AM
The headline implies there is some sort of global warming aspect to this, and there may be, but the Yarnell Fire, if you read the various reports like this one  http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/YarnellFire.html seem s more a case of people building homes in terrible places.
 
2013-09-30 02:29:56 AM
We might have more extreme wildfires, or we might not.

There, covered all the bases.
 
2013-09-30 05:28:34 AM
This is what happens with monoculture and no megafauna.
 
2013-09-30 05:53:20 AM

doglover: This is what happens with monoculture and no megafauna.


i131.photobucket.com
 
2013-09-30 06:43:02 AM

log_jammin: doglover: This is what happens with monoculture and no megafauna.

[i131.photobucket.com image 588x800]


Dude, gross.
 
2013-09-30 07:07:51 AM
Won't be the flood, but the fire next time.
 
2013-09-30 07:07:57 AM
I can't believe people are falling for this line of crap. Fires are natural things and sometimes there are a lot of fires and sometimes not a lot of fires. It's not something that anyone can predict, and "scientists" who claim to be able to predict a major rise in fires are either lying or have got their heads up their butts. In fact, the past few years have been unusually low on fires. The article even says as much. And yet, the doomsayers are out claiming that we're all heading for a fire armageddon and we've already passed the imaginary point of no return.

Wake up, people. When someone tells you that you're at risk of dying in a fire, they are trying to sell you something. Study it out before glomming on to this bandwagon.
 
2013-09-30 07:21:00 AM

log_jammin: then wouldn't we have to redefine "extreme wildfire"?


Yes! Problem solved.
 
2013-09-30 07:21:47 AM
I'm beginning to feel like npr  fear mongers about weather/climate/natural resources the same way that Fox News fear mongers about everything but weather.
 
2013-09-30 07:24:31 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Wake up, people. When someone tells you that you're at risk of dying in a fire, they are trying to sell you something. Study it out before glomming on to this bandwagon.


I read ya, brother, loud and clear!
 
2013-09-30 07:29:32 AM
The fire is in my pants.
 
2013-09-30 07:29:51 AM
"the same way that Fox News fear mongers about everything but weather."

That's a strange statement to make.  Fox News has been one of the biggest pushers of the global warming hoax from the very beginning.  I have a screenshot from one of their articles about five years ago that reads "Hot Future Shock: Heat Waves Set to Boil Planet".  Link here.

As for the NPR article, wildfires are at a 10-year low.
 
2013-09-30 07:33:44 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: I can't believe people are falling for this line of crap. Fires are natural things and sometimes there are a lot of fires and sometimes not a lot of fires. It's not something that anyone can predict, and "scientists" who claim to be able to predict a major rise in fires are either lying or have got their heads up their butts. In fact, the past few years have been unusually low on fires. The article even says as much. And yet, the doomsayers are out claiming that we're all heading for a fire armageddon and we've already passed the imaginary point of no return.

Wake up, people. When someone tells you that you're at risk of dying in a fire, they are trying to sell you something. Study it out before glomming on to this bandwagon.


I think you're confusing an increase in extreme fires with an increase in all fires. These things are not the same and stating the first does not suggest the latter.

Most of the climate change models show an increase in extreme weather patterns. These models don't show that we're going to have more weather fluctuations. In fact - the opposite is true as models forecast that weather patterns will become 'stuck'. Droughts will last longer. So will rainy and snowy weather as well as temperature surges and drops.

So we'll likely have less fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and so on. However, the fires, tornadoes,and hurricanes that we do have are more likely to be more extreme.
 
2013-09-30 07:35:03 AM
Lot's of dry wood equals lots of fires. Not a whole lot we can do about it but get out of the way.
 
2013-09-30 07:36:10 AM

Erom: I'm beginning to feel like npr  fear mongers about weather/climate/natural resources the same way that Fox News fear mongers about everything but weather.


Should we not talk about anything alarming because we might be mistaken for Fox News? That's a rather odd statement to make.
 
2013-09-30 07:40:09 AM
extreme wildfires is my favorite Doritos flavor.
 
2013-09-30 07:43:40 AM
This explains it quite handily - yet people seem to avoid mentioning it and focus on the global warming derp instead:

"We've been putting out fires in the western United States for more than a century, and this allowed our forests to grow unnaturally thick," Kodas says. "That's something that's really noticeable in Arizona."
Kodas says the forests there, after years and years of fire suppression, often have 10 or 20 times more trees, scrub and grass than they did naturally.

A desert will always have lack of rainfall, so all this extra tinder we've allowed to grow will almost always be dry and ready to go up in a flash. Stop suppressing the naturally-started fires, do a few controlled burns or clear-cuts, and the situation returns to normal - whatever that is. Environmentalist mismanagement of the ecology is causing most of the problem.
 
2013-09-30 07:46:06 AM

Erom: I'm beginning to feel like npr  fear mongers about weather/climate/natural resources the same way that Fox News fear mongers about everything but weather.


Notice how at the top of the article they mention climate change:

As people move farther into wildland areas and climate change turns landscapes into tinder, experts say the wildfire danger around the country will likely only grow.

But the real reason why we MAY* have more extreme wildfires is much father down:

"We've been putting out fires in the western United States for more than a century, and this allowed our forests to grow unnaturally thick," Kodas says. "That's something that's really noticeable in Arizona."

Kodas says the forests there, after years and years of fire suppression, often have 10 or 20 times more trees, scrub and grass than they did naturally.


Obviously, if there is more fuel available, the fires are going to be bigger and they are going to spread more readily, even apart from climate change.  In fact, aside from that initial reference, climate isn't mentioned at all in the article.

Now, I'm not denying climate change, and I'm an NPR fan. I listen to WAMC during my commute except during fund drives (like right now) when I switch to listening to the VPR stations.  So why throw that in at the beginning of the piece?  It's like a throw-away line, red meat to the Left.


*I say "MAY" because we really don't have a good record of the frequency and size of wildfires from history beyond much more than 100 years ago.
 
2013-09-30 07:46:56 AM
So, you mean an active campaign to prevent forest fires that has been going on for about a generation now, has resulted in fewer small brush fires and more bigger and more damaging fires?

Color me shocked and amazed.

/Smokey the Bear is an asshole.
 
2013-09-30 07:47:56 AM
www.theyoungfolks.com
 
2013-09-30 07:57:34 AM

jaybeezey: extreme wildfires is my favorite Doritos flavor.


It's that smoky goodness.
 
2013-09-30 08:26:00 AM
Why is the new normal always something bad?
 
2013-09-30 08:42:44 AM
so just AGENT ORANGE the entire damn countryside and we will be fine?  good to know!
 
2013-09-30 09:24:55 AM

dittybopper: So why throw that in at the beginning of the piece?


I think you know the answer to that. But you trust NPR. You don't want to accept it.
 
2013-09-30 09:36:49 AM

badhatharry: dittybopper: So why throw that in at the beginning of the piece?

I think you know the answer to that. But you trust NPR. You don't want to accept it.


You're not familiar with the crickets thread, are you?
 
2013-09-30 09:38:43 AM

badhatharry: dittybopper: So why throw that in at the beginning of the piece?

I think you know the answer to that. But you trust NPR. You don't want to accept it.


Also, I answered my own questions in the sentence immediately afterwards:

It's like a throw-away line, red meat to the Left.

/I really should stop commenting in NPR threads.
 
2013-09-30 09:59:38 AM
Joe Bolt:
As for the NPR article, wildfires are at a 10-year low.

Not quite, but close, take another look at the numbers in your link.
 
2013-09-30 10:08:09 AM

fluffy2097: So, you mean an active campaign to prevent forest fires that has been going on for about a generation now, has resulted in fewer small brush fires and more bigger and more damaging fires?

Color me shocked and amazed.

/Smokey the Bear is an asshole.


A generation is only about 25 years. About three or four generations.
 
2013-09-30 10:11:41 AM
dittybopper:


*I say "MAY" because we really don't have a good record of the frequency and size of wildfires from history beyond much more than 100 years ago.

We've been working with a consulting forester for ~35 years to return our forested property to "pre-European settlement conditions".   One of his research interests is the historic frequency of forest fires and he examines the stumps from the trees that were harvested in the early 1900s.  Those trees survived many fires, some more than 20, that occurred on an average of every 7-10 years.  I can't speak for the size of those fires, because he hasn't done the dendrochronology to correlate the dates of the fires over a large enough area.

Our approach is to thin the stands heavily and introduce periodic, low-intensity fire.
 
2013-09-30 10:12:25 AM
Thanks, Obearma?

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-09-30 10:23:53 AM

jaybeezey: extreme wildfires is my favorite Doritos flavor.


But can I get a Doritos "Extreme Wildfires" Taco?
 
2013-09-30 10:33:25 AM

Gough: I can't speak for the size of those fires, because he hasn't done the dendrochronology to correlate the dates of the fires over a large enough area.


That's part of it, too.  Knowing how big the fires were in the past allows an estimate of acres burned per year.
Without that, you've just got snapshots of a single, very limited area, which may or may not be representative of the entire region.
 
2013-09-30 10:42:16 AM
Suppression at all costs is coming back to bite us in the ass.
Who would'a thunk it?
 
2013-09-30 11:32:30 AM
A few years ago the Forest Service refused to allow a helo with a bambi bucket to pull water from a lake adjacent to a fire due to the lake having an endangered trout in it.  The buckets cannot pick up fish.  But it's endangered so enviromental derp occurred.

The fire that could have been put out quickly wound up burning something like 90,000 acres.  The next rainfall turned into a mudslide that dumped all the ash and dirt into the lake.  The fish died.

This is the kind of mentality that is running the fire suppression efforts.
 
2013-09-30 11:58:24 AM
As you can see from the following graph, wildfires are a hoax and have been cooling for years:

wildfiretoday.com

There were wildfires in the days of the dinosaurs. Jackpine seeds only open in wildfires. The Sun is causing wildfires.

There is nothing to see here. Go back to sleep

Al Gore is fat.
 
2013-09-30 11:58:55 AM

Smeggy Smurf: A few years ago the Forest Service refused to allow a helo with a bambi bucket to pull water from a lake adjacent to a fire due to the lake having an endangered trout in it.  The buckets cannot pick up fish.  But it's endangered so enviromental derp occurred.

The fire that could have been put out quickly wound up burning something like 90,000 acres.  The next rainfall turned into a mudslide that dumped all the ash and dirt into the lake.  The fish died.

This is the kind of mentality that is running the fire suppression efforts.


I never thought of it that way. Stop giving a f*ck about endangered species, and we'll stop having wildfires!

Thank you for your glowing insights.
 
2013-09-30 12:05:48 PM
I do wildland firefighting, mostly structure protection, but some initial attack

One of the most fascinating things I heard about 4 years ago in a Fire Behavior Class "in a wildland fire, a subdivision is just another fuel type".    They even have a subdivision fuel model for some of their computer models now.   You can model a fire moving from a pure timber model to a mixed timber/homes and how it is going to effect flame length and spread rates.

To me, the scariest thing about the Yarnell Fire, is that those guys were in a safety zone.   If they had sat there and just waited, they would still be alive today.      I have been on fires where people moved from areas of safety to more dangerous areas, because they/we wanted to do something.   It is almost impossible to train firefighters to protect lives/property and have them make the decision "fight or flee" and have them make the correct decision all the time.    If I had been on that crew, I probably would have been one of the 19.     Done it before, luckily no one was killed or injured, just had a scary few minutes will helicopters dumped water around us as fast as possible.
 
2013-09-30 12:09:15 PM

Sid_6.7: Smeggy Smurf: A few years ago the Forest Service refused to allow a helo with a bambi bucket to pull water from a lake adjacent to a fire due to the lake having an endangered trout in it.  The buckets cannot pick up fish.  But it's endangered so enviromental derp occurred.

The fire that could have been put out quickly wound up burning something like 90,000 acres.  The next rainfall turned into a mudslide that dumped all the ash and dirt into the lake.  The fish died.

This is the kind of mentality that is running the fire suppression efforts.

I never thought of it that way. Stop giving a f*ck about endangered species, and we'll stop having wildfires!

Thank you for your glowing insights.


That isn't what he said.   He said that sometimes misplaced priorities interfere with good decision making.

I have seen this on other fires, if an area has endangered fish in it, it is not allowed to be a source of water for helicopters, just in case one of their buckets happens to scoop up some fish.     The fire burning on the hills around the lake is a much bigger threat to the fish than the helicopter buckets.
 
2013-09-30 01:09:25 PM

Joe Bolt: "the same way that Fox News fear mongers about everything but weather."

That's a strange statement to make.  Fox News has been one of the biggest pushers of the global warming hoax from the very beginning.  I have a screenshot from one of their articles about five years ago that reads "Hot Future Shock: Heat Waves Set to Boil Planet".  Link here.

As for the NPR article, wildfires are at a 10-year low.


Shhh gd-it ... we want City People to stay in  the cities. We have a duty to scare them witless.
 
2013-09-30 01:50:34 PM
Living with extreme wildfires might be the new normal

For many years now
 
2013-09-30 02:02:41 PM

weiserfireman: Sid_6.7: Smeggy Smurf: A few years ago the Forest Service refused to allow a helo with a bambi bucket to pull water from a lake adjacent to a fire due to the lake having an endangered trout in it.  The buckets cannot pick up fish.  But it's endangered so enviromental derp occurred.

The fire that could have been put out quickly wound up burning something like 90,000 acres.  The next rainfall turned into a mudslide that dumped all the ash and dirt into the lake.  The fish died.

This is the kind of mentality that is running the fire suppression efforts.

I never thought of it that way. Stop giving a f*ck about endangered species, and we'll stop having wildfires!

Thank you for your glowing insights.

That isn't what he said.   He said that sometimes misplaced priorities interfere with good decision making.

I have seen this on other fires, if an area has endangered fish in it, it is not allowed to be a source of water for helicopters, just in case one of their buckets happens to scoop up some fish.     The fire burning on the hills around the lake is a much bigger threat to the fish than the helicopter buckets.


It's small-minded idiocy, similar to Republicans saying "Oh, healthcare reform. We should make it harder to sue doctors, that'll fix everything, right?"
 
2013-09-30 03:28:16 PM

Sid_6.7: Smeggy Smurf: A few years ago the Forest Service refused to allow a helo with a bambi bucket to pull water from a lake adjacent to a fire due to the lake having an endangered trout in it.  The buckets cannot pick up fish.  But it's endangered so enviromental derp occurred.

The fire that could have been put out quickly wound up burning something like 90,000 acres.  The next rainfall turned into a mudslide that dumped all the ash and dirt into the lake.  The fish died.

This is the kind of mentality that is running the fire suppression efforts.

I never thought of it that way. Stop giving a f*ck about endangered species, and we'll stop having wildfires!

Thank you for your glowing insights.


Except for that whole, the mountain slid down into the lake killing all the fish thing.  You didn't read that part did you?  Willfull ignorance in action is a terrible thing.
 
2013-09-30 05:55:17 PM

Smeggy Smurf: Sid_6.7: Smeggy Smurf: A few years ago the Forest Service refused to allow a helo with a bambi bucket to pull water from a lake adjacent to a fire due to the lake having an endangered trout in it.  The buckets cannot pick up fish.  But it's endangered so enviromental derp occurred.

The fire that could have been put out quickly wound up burning something like 90,000 acres.  The next rainfall turned into a mudslide that dumped all the ash and dirt into the lake.  The fish died.

This is the kind of mentality that is running the fire suppression efforts.

I never thought of it that way. Stop giving a f*ck about endangered species, and we'll stop having wildfires!

Thank you for your glowing insights.

Except for that whole, the mountain slid down into the lake killing all the fish thing.  You didn't read that part did you?  Willfull ignorance in action is a terrible thing.


Nah, you get niche environmentalists, like niche environments, who will defend their bit of the ecosystem to the detriment of other parts and ultimately their own.

How much do you hear about benzine these days?
Gender changing fish from contraceptives?
Farming runoff causing algae blooms?
Dynamite fishing over coral reefs?
Polar bears being shot by people?

Nope, it`s all Co2, acidification and everything is caused by man driving too many cars and using too much electric.
 
2013-09-30 08:15:52 PM
dready zim:

How much do you hear about benzine these days?

Precious little, unless you live in a country where that's what they call gasoline.

Benzene, on the other hand....

Or did you mean petroleum ether?
 
2013-10-01 10:24:43 AM

dittybopper: *I say "MAY" because we really don't have a good record of the frequency and size of wildfires from history beyond much more than 100 years ago.


upload.wikimedia.org
Tere used to be fires every 1-3 years on much of the east coast. Notice blue and pink areas.
 
2013-10-01 10:42:04 AM

weiserfireman: One of the most fascinating things I heard about 4 years ago in a Fire Behavior Class "in a wildland fire, a subdivision is just another fuel type".    They even have a subdivision fuel model for some of their computer models now.   You can model a fire moving from a pure timber model to a mixed timber/homes and how it is going to effect flame length and spread rates.


Foresters have a type of forest classification called "urban forest". It's all that green that you see on Google Maps views of most American cities.
 
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